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ARU moves to kill off club player payments: A 3rd tier, club rugby and the $60k persuader

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T

TOCC

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I agree with the lesser the teams the better, to me 8 seems like a good number, maybe even start with 6 in the first year with plans to expand in the following years. You at least want an even number so the draw flows better without teams having bye rounds ever few weeks.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Mate, you said you don't have all the answers but get upset when i point out possible issues with your proposal?

As for the Brisbane/Gold Coast teams, you are suggesting Brisbane has two teams but the Gold Coast also needs to be factored for, so that means 1 team for Brisbane and 1 for the Gold Coast, you can't share a team between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, they are demographically separate cities, its like suggesting a team from Manly should also be representative of Newcastle. Its a throw away line to say "leave it to the locals", how can you allocate 2 teams if you haven't done any research or have no understanding of the rugby environment up in SEQ.

As for population, once again thats a throw away line or we would be given 5 teams to Melbourne as well. Population is a statistic but it has no relevance to how many actual rugby union supporters are in that state, if we look at rugby union participation numbers the QRU had almost equal the number as the NSWRU in 2012, heck the Reds have more members and larger crowds.. Statistics are an indicator but need to be examined further.

Cambletown is far from a "no brainer", there is a reason that professional teams don't base themselves purely in this region, socioeconomic reasons will dictate that their is insufficient corporate support to ensure the financial security of a professional sporting team. Rugby Union in Australia needs a financially stable competition to start with, basing a team in Cambletown which has less player numbers then that of Perth can remain a long term objective of the competition, however in the short term it makes absolutely no financial sense.

I agree that Sydney deserves to have more teams as it does have a larger economy and more rugby union players, however the Cambeltown team is a waste of money..I do like the other three teams you proposed for Sydney.. However I also think in the short term a Newcastle/Central Coast team should be overlooked, it doesn't even participate in the Shute Shield yet all of a sudden we want to promote it to the newly established third tier. Once again, Newcastle can sit in the longer term objective basket..

By having fewer teams the financial liabilty will be reduced, the already limited player pool in Australia will be consolidated which will in turn leader to higher quality of play. Keep the new competition simple and practical.


Campbelltown is based in the Macarthur region of Sydney. A region neglected by Rugby but one with large NZ and Islander populations relative to most of the country. It also happens to be Sydney's primary growth corridor. Where I live in Camden, there are currently no less than three very large new housing estates underway with 4 more already in the approval stages. The state government has already indicated they are looking to build 45,000 new houses out this way.

Five minutes up the road is the beginning of the Edmonson Park project. When plans for that were released they outlined a new area that would in effect link with Campbelltown/Camden and would house a further population of 300,000 when completed. All this growth is within the Macarthur Region.

In all, we're talking about around 750,000 people situated in a area with absolutely no full time team to support. A huge growth area and one with a bit of investment could deliver great dividends in terms of talent and support. You would be amazed how many Kangaroo/NSW and even Kiwi RL players have grown up in the region.

In term of socioeconomics. Sure, its not the Eastern suburbs or lower North Shore but its hardly the impoverished wasteland some make it out to be. Sure it has areas that aren't great (some are particularly bad) but the majority of the area is populated by hard working individuals and families. Sponsorship wouldn't be an issue as the consumer base is actually quite large out here.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
I agree with the lesser the teams the better, to me 8 seems like a good number, maybe even start with 6 in the first year with plans to expand in the following years. You at least want an even number so the draw flows better without teams having bye rounds ever few weeks.


It depends on the model they decide on. Wouldn't surprise me if the format we've read about changes before anything solid in announced. I agree with 8 teams to start if they go along the representative lines. I think that's a solid number in terms of both concentrating talent and providing the best prospects the appropritate opportunity in a highly competitive environment.

I would also leave some room for limited expansion in the future. Ideally I believe we should have two 3rd tier rep squads for every 1 Super Rugby franchise. So in time it should look to move to 10 teams.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
Ideally I believe we should have two 3rd tier rep squads for every 1 Super Rugby franchise. So in time it should look to move to 10 teams.
I'm a big fan of the Waratahs setting up a satellite academy in Sydney's West that covers the boomerang from Penrith to Parramatta and cross to Campbelltown.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Is anyone keeping count of how many different models are being proposed?;)

We may achieve peace in the middle east before we can work this one out:).
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
Campbelltown is based in the Macarthur region of Sydney. A region neglected by Rugby but one with large NZ and Islander populations relative to most of the country. It also happens to be Sydney's primary growth corridor. Where I live in Camden, there are currently no less than three very large new housing estates underway with 4 more already in the approval stages. The state government has already indicated they are looking to build 45,000 new houses out this way.

Five minutes up the road is the beginning of the Edmonson Park project. When plans for that were released they outlined a new area that would in effect link with Campbelltown/Camden and would house a further population of 300,000 when completed. All this growth is within the Macarthur Region.

In all, we're talking about around 750,000 people situated in a area with absolutely no full time team to support. A huge growth area and one with a bit of investment could deliver great dividends in terms of talent and support. You would be amazed how many Kangaroo/NSW and even Kiwi RL players have grown up in the region.

In term of socioeconomics. Sure, its not the Eastern suburbs or lower North Shore but its hardly the impoverished wasteland some make it out to be. Sure it has areas that aren't great (some are particularly bad) but the majority of the area is populated by hard working individuals and families. Sponsorship wouldn't be an issue as the consumer base is actually quite large out here.
And they have a ready built, under-utilised stadium there.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
Campbelltown is based in the Macarthur region of Sydney. A region neglected by Rugby but one with large NZ and Islander populations relative to most of the country. It also happens to be Sydney's primary growth corridor. Where I live in Camden, there are currently no less than three very large new housing estates underway with 4 more already in the approval stages. The state government has already indicated they are looking to build 45,000 new houses out this way.

Five minutes up the road is the beginning of the Edmonson Park project. When plans for that were released they outlined a new area that would in effect link with Campbelltown/Camden and would house a further population of 300,000 when completed. All this growth is within the Macarthur Region.

In all, we're talking about around 750,000 people situated in a area with absolutely no full time team to support. A huge growth area and one with a bit of investment could deliver great dividends in terms of talent and support. You would be amazed how many Kangaroo/NSW and even Kiwi RL players have grown up in the region.

In term of socioeconomics. Sure, its not the Eastern suburbs or lower North Shore but its hardly the impoverished wasteland some make it out to be. Sure it has areas that aren't great (some are particularly bad) but the majority of the area is populated by hard working individuals and families. Sponsorship wouldn't be an issue as the consumer base is actually quite large out here.

The Macarthur Region actually has a population closer to 250'000 not 750'00... Even if you include the Liverpool LGA it is still only about 500'000..

Sponsorship wouldn't be an issue? What are you basing that on? The Gold Coast has a population of 600'000 consumers yet we continually see professional sporting teams fail, the struggle for corporate support and sponsorship in the city are well documented(Just ask the Titans how much they have lost or how much the AFL has poured into the Sun's).

The Gold Coast has one of the highest ratios of kiwis in Australia with almost 10% of the population born across the ditch and thats not even including the PI population.. However similar to Cambletown or the Macarthur region it suffers from lack of large corporations or business to properly support a professional sporting team.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
No one is going to agree on the concept that they decide to go with as there are at least 10 good ideas on here that I think could work. What we need is for them to implement and idea and to back it. Buy the kit, go to the games, let foxtel know you want to watch it. The idea only works if the rugby community gets behind it and makes it work.
 

Pfitzy

George Gregan (70)
None of these ideas is going to get up unless existing clubs are involved. Uni, Randwick, and Easts have the political clout to stop any move to exclude them.

Accept this as fact.

This also means the premier club competitions supporting these clubs needs a rethink. After all, if you win promotion to only play a squad of e.g. 25, what happens to your third and fourth grade?

As per the comment from Christini above, the system is broke.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
The Macarthur Region actually has a population closer to 250'000 not 750'00. Even if you include the Liverpool LGA it is still only about 500'000..

Sponsorship wouldn't be an issue? What are you basing that on? The Gold Coast has a population of 600'000 consumers yet we continually see professional sporting teams fail, the struggle for corporate support and sponsorship in the city are well documented(Just ask the Titans how much they have lost or how much the AFL has poured into the Sun's).

The Gold Coast has one of the highest ratios of kiwis in Australia with almost 10% of the population born across the ditch and thats not even including the PI population.. However similar to Cambletown or the Macarthur region it suffers from lack of large corporations or business to properly support a professional sporting team.


At present the population of the Macarthur region is around 250,000 but in 20 years with the planned a current population growth it will be nearing the 750,000 mark. I did say, it was Sydney's growth corridor. Placing a team in a area that will grow significantly into the future wouldn't be a bad idea.

The Gold Coast is completely different to the Macarthur region. They have been spoilt for choice to the point where they expect teams to want to locate their. The Macarthur region has a strong history of producing elite athletes particularly in the football codes with the exception of AFL. The region is without the luxury of being Australia's supposed sporting golden goose. Given the opportunity to support a high level team that is linked and plays out of the region you could build a loyal base as well as possibly draw in talent that otherwise would be lost.

At 250,000 it is a larger base than that of both Townsville and Geelong who both have teams in the NRL and AFL respectively. Surely they wouldn't be able to support pro sides but they do. You don't need to have major corporates located within the region, just a consumer base.

A team in the region would work. But, hey. What would I know? Having been raised in and back living in the region. I have no knowledge or understanding of the area whatsoever.
 
B

BellyTwoBlues

Guest
This is morphing into the 3rd tier thread again................but even though there's some difference in opinion on how to roll it out, the acknowledgement that there is the need for one and it must be run fiscally responsibly is quite clear.

I've become a bit of a cynic in recent years...........probably due to the vast amounts of support for the game in Western Sydney the state and national unions claim to provide, so please forgive me for thinking that whatever idea they come up with will facilitate growth of the game for everyone's benefit.

Going back to the thread title, I do have some comments to make. And quite frankly am sick of biting my lip for fear of retribution. Firstly, I was NOT present at the meeting between SRU and Wild Bill and Whits. My President has NOT informed me of what was said. But I was at the Catchpole. And the tongues were indeed wagging. It is pleasing on a personal level to be made aware that I am not the only cynic in the competition.

Now obviously the wagging tongues were only professing one side of the story, so I'll reserve judgement until I hear the other side, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for them to call me.

But from what I have concluded from the information provided by the wagging tongues was that the non payment of players issue was most likely a smoke screen by the ARU to hide the real issue they wanted to discuss. And that is providing the Super Rugby franchises with the ability to prevent their professional players returning to (in our case) the Shute Shield. They are more than prepared to condemn the competition into oblivion to do it. This is the direct result of allowing the CEO of Rupa onto the Board of ARU. And sadly, and this is by no means intended to disrespect or offend Eastwood, but the grand final result will only support the ARU and Rupa position.

In short, we know change is coming. We can either be victims of it, or achitects of it. Though reality is, that there are so many ideas on what the changes should be, with the architects making sure their interests are looked after in the first place that agreement for the good of the game in this country is about as likely as me weighing 90kg by the end of the week!

I seriously fear for the future of the game in this country.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
At present the population of the Macarthur region is around 250,000 but in 20 years with the planned a current population growth it will be nearing the 750,000 mark. I did say, it was Sydney's growth corridor. Placing a team in a area that will grow significantly into the future wouldn't be a bad idea.

The Gold Coast is completely different to the Macarthur region. They have been spoilt for choice to the point where they expect teams to want to locate their. The Macarthur region has a strong history of producing elite athletes particularly in the football codes with the exception of AFL. The region is without the luxury of being Australia's supposed sporting golden goose. Given the opportunity to support a high level team that is linked and plays out of the region you could build a loyal base as well as possibly draw in talent that otherwise would be lost.

At 250,000 it is a larger base than that of both Townsville and Geelong who both have teams in the NRL and AFL respectively. Surely they wouldn't be able to support pro sides but they do. You don't need to have major corporates located within the region, just a consumer base.

A team in the region would work. But, hey. What would I know? Having been raised in and back living in the region. I have no knowledge or understanding of the area whatsoever.
I'm with you on this one, which is why I said I thought Cambelltown was a no-brainer. However, there are a lot of rugby types who think that civilisation ends at about Concord and that Parramatta is the western extremity of Sydney.
AFL are pushing hard to get in there and the NRL would love the Wests Tigers to play all their games there, but the Balmain half won't wear it.
Assuming that participants in the 3rd tier would be centrally contracted and teams given the same amount of money for players, coaches etc., this is actually the most cost-effective way of getting a decent rugby presence there, because whether the team plays at Cambelltown, Concord or Coogee, the cost will be the same to the ARU, but the revenue potential would be more.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Stuff the third tier investment. Until the Rugby pyramid is re-established as a shape resembling a pyramid, any money, time and effort spent on a third tier competition is going to be completely wasted.

There is more than enough good quality rugby available nowdays.

To avoid disappearing up their own backside, the ARU and Affiliated Unions need to invest in the future. That is the only way to keep the game relevant and growing.

With growth in the minis, you achieve growth in teenagers which leads into depth in the adult player numbers.
Target growth in girls rugby. Again, Start with the minis, which leads into.... and ultimately into mothers who in 20-30 years time will be happy to have their little children register for mini rugby. The cycle will continue and be self perpetuating.

Get more numbers playing the game at the bottom, and all problems will go away.

Walla, Mini and Midi rugby comes very cheaply. The little darlings have impressive pester potential to encourage Mum and Dad to buy merch, tickets, and Foxtel subscriptions to keep the Senior game healthy.

Australian Rugby does not need more athletes at the top playing at a slightly higher level, it needs more little ones.

The West and South West of Sydney needs to be targeted with the ARU and NSWRU focusing on establishing viable junior clubs and competitions, and encouraging the game in primary schools.

There is life West of Concord Oval and South of Foreshaw park.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
With growth in the minis, you achieve growth in teenagers which leads into depth in the adult player numbers.
Target growth in girls rugby. Again, Start with the minis, which leads into.. and ultimately into mothers who in 20-30 years time will be happy to have their little children register for mini rugby. The cycle will continue and be self perpetuating.

Get more numbers playing the game at the bottom, and all problems will go away.

Walla, Mini and Midi rugby comes very cheaply. The little darlings have impressive pester potential to encourage Mum and Dad to buy merch, tickets, and Foxtel subscriptions to keep the Senior game healthy.

Australian Rugby does not need more athletes at the top playing at a slightly higher level, it needs more little ones.

The West and South West of Sydney needs to be targeted with the ARU and NSWRU focusing on establishing viable junior clubs and competitions, and encouraging the game in primary schools.

There is life West of Concord Oval and South of Foreshaw park.

It's actually more cost-effective and easier to connect with potential minis players in non-traditional rugby areas like Cambelltown if you base a centrally contracted 3rd tier there. You would actually have players with time to go to the schools to talk with boys and games in their local area for interested potential parents and players to attend.

At the moment gala days are run by ARU development officers, but there aren't teams for interested young boys to sign up with after the event.

This could actually be the ARU's best chance of making up for 30 years of neglect in West and SW Sydney.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Stuff the third tier investment. Until the Rugby pyramid is re-established as a shape resembling a pyramid, any money, time and effort spent on a third tier competition is going to be completely wasted.

There is more than enough good quality rugby available nowdays.

To avoid disappearing up their own backside, the ARU and Affiliated Unions need to invest in the future. That is the only way to keep the game relevant and growing.

With growth in the minis, you achieve growth in teenagers which leads into depth in the adult player numbers.
Target growth in girls rugby. Again, Start with the minis, which leads into.. and ultimately into mothers who in 20-30 years time will be happy to have their little children register for mini rugby. The cycle will continue and be self perpetuating.

Get more numbers playing the game at the bottom, and all problems will go away.

Walla, Mini and Midi rugby comes very cheaply. The little darlings have impressive pester potential to encourage Mum and Dad to buy merch, tickets, and Foxtel subscriptions to keep the Senior game healthy.

Australian Rugby does not need more athletes at the top playing at a slightly higher level, it needs more little ones.

The West and South West of Sydney needs to be targeted with the ARU and NSWRU focusing on establishing viable junior clubs and competitions, and encouraging the game in primary schools.

There is life West of Concord Oval and South of Foreshaw park.


While I'm a fan of a National Competition, I can see the reasoning in your line of thought. Instead of spending X amount on a 3rd Tier they could use that funding on 1) Junior development 2) Making the JGC more accessible by eliminating the levy or 3) Expanding the JGC to a U20s bracket of 12 teams. Ideally, they could do all but either one would strengthen the game further down the line than just the Pro game.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
Nothing will improve the situation, unless and until all stakeholders accept that we are in the poo. Tough times, we need some tough measures.


The haves will have to make some sacrifices so that the game can survive as a semi-serious sport in this country, otherwise it will just end up being played in a handful of private schools.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
While I'm a fan of a National Competition, I can see the reasoning in your line of thought. Instead of spending X amount on a 3rd Tier they could use that funding on 1) Junior development 2) Making the JGC more accessible by eliminating the levy or 3) Expanding the JGC to a U20s bracket of 12 teams. Ideally, they could do all but either one would strengthen the game further down the line than just the Pro game.
Unfortunately the ARU have got themselves into a position where they need to do things at the top and the bottom, not either/or.

If the spend everything on the base, there's no pathway for them and if they spend it all at the top, there's not enough depth coming through.

They have to be really smart and focussed about what they do and how they do it or it will all end in tears.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Unfortunately the ARU have got themselves into a position where they need to do things at the top and the bottom, not either/or.

If the spend everything on the base, there's no pathway for them and if they spend it all at the top, there's not enough depth coming through.

They have to be really smart and focussed about what they do and how they do it or it will all end in tears.


It's a difficult position to have to work through. Though, they have initiated the JGC with the intention of developing an elite pathway for talented 14/15/16 and 17 year old club Rugby players. If they used some of the resources they would have used in supporting the any possible 3rd tier competition to 1) remove the levy requirement from the JGC format and 2) to look to establish a 12 teams U20s structure then you do have a defined pathway quite similar to that of both the NRL and AFL. You start at club footy, if you qualify you move to JGC or in the case of schools Rugby Rep squads, then onto a U20s format, Club Rugby/Academies, Super Rugby and finally the Wallabies.

I still think a National Competition could be established but it would only involve the ARU in so far as a sanctioning body. Similar to the format Bruce has floated in the past. Set strict financial criteria and welcome bids from all comers. If they meet the criteria then they can compete.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
If the ARU is in the financial poo that they are claiming to be in (see discussion point in the SRU response to the ARU), then thank goodness for the B&I Lions tour.

Without Gatland's Group coming downunder this year and making a fairly chunky contribution to the ARU coffers, how long will it be before they will be in trouble with ACCC for trading whilst insolvent?
 
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